Macau’s Sin Meng Charity Association, headed by lawmaker Melinda Chan Mei Yi released its Macau Happiness Index 2013 Wednesday, which scored 70.4 points out of 100, a 0.8 point decrease on last year’s study to measure citizens’ overall happiness.
The findings of the privately-funded index, which were released in the premises of the association, found that most public dissatisfaction centred on the government’s housing policy.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Chan hosted a press conference to release the findings. The survey was conducted by the Macau Polling Research Association (MPRA), in which 1,505 locals were interviewed over the telephone from October 29 to 5 November.
The index is comprised of a subjective happiness component and a life satisfaction component, according to the survey.
According to the findings, the 2013 index stands at 70.4; last year’s index amounted to 71.2; it reached 71.6 in 2011 and it stood at 71.5 in 2010, the first time the association contracted the polling company to carry out the survey.
Addressing the press conference, Chan said that society as a whole should be aware that this year the lowest happiness index since 2010 was recorded.
According to the organisers, the survey also collected respondents’ opinions about the government’s policies.
Satisfaction with the government’s overall performance stood at 62.6, the lowest of the past three surveys, 62.9 last year, 63.4 in 2011 and 62.9 in 2010.
Satisfaction with the government’s housing policy scored just 50 points on the index, causing the most dissatisfaction.
Chan said the survey demonstrated that the government’s current policies failed to tackle the housing problem.
“The government should increase land resources for the construction of public housing….. the government also has to come up with a long-term housing policy aimed at improving the chances for low-income families and the disabled to get a flat,” Chan said
Chan also said that according to the findings the respondents in two salary levels, 10,001 to 15,000 patacas a month and 15,001 to 20,000 patacas a month, recorded the lowest happiness index, amounting 68.4 and 67.8 respectively, while the general happiness index stands at 70.4.
“Such findings show that the government has not come up with enough policies to assist residents in the median wage levels,” Chan said.
The happiness index was started by Bhutan in 1972 when the Himalayan country’s king came up with the term “gross national happiness (GNH), which he thought to be more important than the more conventional gross domestic product (GDP).(macaunews)